WIDNES and Runcorn tenants are being urged to book annual gas safety inspections to stave off the silent killer, carbon monoxide.
Halton Housing Trust is launching a poster campaign aimed at its 450 customers who have not yet had their annual 45-minute gas check carried out by a qualified engineer.
The trust says the tests are even more important at Christmas and New Year, when people spend more time than usual in their homes and therefore run a higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
It has promised to install carbon monoxide detectors in every one of its 6,230 homes by 2010 as part of its £85m investment programme.
The announcement follows a confidential leaked report in the summer, which found that there was a backlog of gas checks and repairs.
Nick Atkin, chief executive, said: 'A free 45-minute gas safety check by a CORGI-registered gas engineer once a year is all it takes to save lives from carbon monoxide.
'We want to remind all our customers that having an annual service and safety check will give them peace of mind.
'While we do not want to take people to court, we will where customers do not allow us to undertake this vital work. This could lead to a legal bill for these customers of more than £700.
'Currently, 24 trust customers are subject to such legal proceedings.'
Residents can contact 0800 195 3172 to make an appointment.